CBCF in the News
Marjorie A. Innocent, Ph.D.
Dr. Innocent has several years of experience in evaluation and research related to public health and education, as well as examining policy and practice issues in the delivery of health and social services to low-income youth. Dr. Innocent has served as an evaluation specialist with the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland; a research associate for the Center for Applied Research and Technical Assistance, Inc.; director of the Maryland School-Based Health Center Initiative and health policy research coordinator for the Maryland Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families.
Dr. Innocent holds a doctorate in Health Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French Literature from Columbia University. She currently serves on the Health Equity Leadership Commission of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, the planning committee for the Annual National Conference on Health Disparities led by the Medical University of South Carolina, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Advisory Board.
The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Dr. Innocent is fluent in French and Haitian Creole.
Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D.
As a correctional and forensic psychology resident at the United States Penitentiary, Dr. Toldson completed his dissertation on black men in the criminal justice system. Upon completion, Dr. Toldson joined the faculty of Southern University and became the fourth recipient of the prestigious DuBois Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as the clinical director of the Manhood Training Village.
Dr. Toldson has authored more than 60 publications and presented his research in 32 states, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Scotland, South Africa, Paris, and Barcelona. He has been featured on C-SPAN2 Books, NPR News, The Al Sharpton Show on XM Satellite Radio, and WKYS 93.9 Washington, and his research has been featured in The Root, Essence.com, BET.com, The Griot, and Ebony Magazine. Known as a "myth buster," Dr. Toldson’s reports challenge the merits of popular research and news sources that present negative statistics about Black people. He is a contributing education editor for The Root and Empower Magazine.
In 2005, Dr. Toldson won EboNetwork's Changing Faces award for outstanding literary achievement for his novel, Black Sheep: When the American Dream Becomes a Black Man's Nightmare. Dr. Toldson is also the author of The Breaking Barriers Series, which analyzes academic success indicators from national surveys, giving voice to more than 10,000 black male pupils from schools across the country. Through his consulting firm, CREATE, LLC, he routinely works with schools to increase their capacity to promote academic success among black males.
Dr. Toldson holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Temple University. He has received formal training in applied statistics from the University of Michigan, and held visiting research and teacher appointments at Emory, Drexel, and Morehouse School of Medicine.
Menna Demessie, Ph.D.
In her latest publication, Toward A More Inclusive America: African Americans & Voting Rights, she discusses the significance of restrictive voting law changes in the context of the Voting Rights Act and new age discrimination.
Prior to joining CBCF’s staff, Dr. Demessie worked for Representative Barbara Lee as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow focusing on unemployment legislation, poverty, and foreign policy. Her honors include the NCOBPS Presidential Award for Outstanding Dedication and Service (2010), Ginsburg Award for Community Service and Social Action (2010), Congressional Research Award (2008), and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists Graduate Paper Award (2008).
Dr. Demessie holds a joint doctorate in Public Policy and Political Science, a Master of Arts in Political Science and Certificate in African American, African and Black Transnational Studies from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Law and Society from Oberlin College. She serves as the historian and is an executive board member for the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) and has served as the National Youth Coordinator for the Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED) since 2000.
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